Psalms in times of trouble

On day one of a hospice chaplaincy placement I found myself reading psalm 121 to an elderly gentleman. Words that I had only sung in choirs took on a whole new meaning as we all knew that this man was at the end of his life.

This psalm isn’t about God taking all the bad things away but about God being with us in the mess of life. As the situation with Covid 19 gets more serious and we face the reality of grief perhaps the raw emotion of the psalms and their hope is something to turn to in times of trouble.

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.

 He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.